This is about my freelance model railway, the London & Mid-Western Railway (LMWR).
The main purpose of this blog is to provide a reference point for people wanting to know what the LMWR is.
Breifly it is a pre-grouping railway that runs from London to Oxford independantly of the GWR, where it connects with the West Midland Railway (which didn't merge with the GWR in 1862).
In 1849 The Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway (OWWR) was formed to connect the towns in its title. Conceived as an extension of the GWR, relations between the two companies were strained by matters of finance, gauge and the GWR building its own line to Wolverhampton via Birmingham. Although the line was nominally dual gauge, the OWWR only ever operated standard gauge trains. When it opened throughout in 1855 it ran through trains to London over the LNWR via Bletchley, as the GWR line to London was broad gauge only. It was around this time that its backers first looked at building a direct line to London, the 'Mid-Western' proposal. Below is an old map of an early scheme.
The first attempt at parliament in 1855 failed. Things went quiet for a while.
In 1860 the OWWR combined with the Newport, Abergavenny & Hereford Railway and the (yet to be completed) Worcester & Hereford Railway to form the West Midland Railway (WMR). Another bill for a Mid-Western scheme was sent to parliament.
Then just as things were getting interesting peace broke out between the WMR and GWR, resulting in merger in 1862. That was the end of any Mid-Western schemes, the GWR dual gauged its line to London for OWWR line trains.
So the LMWR was a line proposed several times but never actually built due to changing railway politics. I've taken the original idea as a basis for my freelance modelling.
In my parallel universe things happened slightly differently. The WMR did not merge with the GWR, but remained independant until the grouping, with a large network of lines.
In 1860 the LMWR act was passed, creating a nominally independent company that was part owned by several railways, including the WMR, LNWR and Midland.
In 1865 the main line was completed from Yarnton Junction, North of Oxford, to Willesden Junction in West London, connecting with the LNWR. There were branches to Aylesbury and Rickmansworth, both connecting with LNWR branches.
This map shows the LMWR at its opening, along with nearby and connecting lines, including the under construction London extension of the Midland Railway.